Kansas Farm Management Association data showed that gas, fuel and oil prices, combined, jumped an average of 39% for KFMA members across the state in 2005. That increase came on the heels of a 21% increase in 2004, according to Sam Funk, the association's administrator. Fertilizer costs rose on average by 31.4% from 2004 to 2005, also making an ever-larger average dollar impact on farms.
The figures were part of an annual summary of KFMA members released recently by the association. In-depth information can be found online at www.agecon.ksu.edu/kfma.
The summary showed average net farm income for KFMA members in 2005 was $56,982, down from $62,604 in 2004, but up from the most recent five-year average of $43,548. The 2005 summary included survey results from 1,532 Kansas farms.
Funk attributes much of the lower net farm income to soaring energy and fertilizer prices, as well as herbicide and insecticide prices that rose 15.8% from 2004 levels.
"Energy components were a gigantic factor, with record or near-record prices weighing on net farm income," Funk says. "With farm income at that level, we had about 50% not covering family expenses."
Overall, total costs across all KFMA farms were up an average of 17%.
The only section of the state that reflected an increase in net farm income was northwest Kansas, which showed an average $66,930, up from $45,801 a year earlier. But, Funk said, that was due mostly to an unusually large change during 2005 in the KFMA member farms in that area. The five-year average for the northwest was $39,909.
Net farm income among KFMA members in north central Kansas averaged $42,065 last year, down from $51,670 in 2004, but above $37,951 for the five-year average.
Similarly, net farm income for northeast Kansas averaged $68,325, down from $77,393 in 2004, but above the $45,629 longer-term average. Southwest Kansas net farm income averaged $23,779, down from $29,927 a year earlier, but above the $21,621 five-year average.
South central Kansas data showed average net at $36,535, down from $52,709 and up from a $34,318 average. Southeast Kansas net farm income was $76,283, down from $84,394, but above the five-year $59,958 average.
While the data on the survey only came from KFMA member farms, Funk says it's a "fairly good barometer" of how Kansas agriculture is faring.